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Kazakhstan president orders troops to ‘fire without warning’ after days of unrest


Marches were held in protest of the rising price for liquefied petroleum gases in Aktau, Kazakhstan’s Mangystau region, on January 4, 2022.

Xinhua News Agency | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

In a violent and desperate crackdown against protestors, Kazakhstan’s dictator has directed the nation’s security force to fire at will without warning.

This is what follows demonstrations against the government snowballedFrom anger at a rise in fuel prices to the worst unrest that Central Asia has seen for decades,

The BBC reported that President Kassym Jomart Tokayev spoke in a television address on Friday. He stated that he had instructed security forces to “fire with no warning.” Those who refused to surrender their arms would be “destroyed.” Tokayev said that up to 20,000 “bandits”, who had stormed government buildings in Almaty’s business capital, were responsible for destroying property.

The president of Kazakhstan also thanked Uzbekistan, China, Russia and Turkey for their support.

According to reports, around 2,500 soldiers were sent by the Russian-led Security Alliance, also known as The Collective Security Treaty Organization, to Kazakhstan. This alliance is made up of the ex-Soviet republics Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Belarus.

Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, stated that questions were being raised by the U.S. about whether CSTO soldiers had been legitimately allowed into Kazakhstan. She also said that Washington would be monitoring any human rights violations.

The protests have left more than 1,000 people injured since Sunday according to Kazakhstan’s Health Ministry. This comes amid claims that many police officers and protestors have been murdered.

Social media posts in the last few days show demonstrators fighting hundreds of security personnel in riot gear. Crowds also pulled down Nursultan, an ex-President and longtime leader.

Nazarbayev, who stepped down from the presidency in 2019 but still holds significant power, was removed on Wednesday from his position as head of the country’s powerful security council by Tokayev — his hand-picked successor.

Although Kazakhstan’s whole cabinet has now resigned it hasn’t stopped the protesters.

— CNBC’s Natasha Turak contributed to this report.